tv Starting Point CNN November 6, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EST
the immense damage from hurricane sandy forcing an election-day scramble, and now another nor'easter could add to the misery and all the confusion. we are tracking the storm. joining us throughout the morning for our special coverage, south carolina congressman jim clyburn, obama campaign senior adviser david axelrod. virginia governor bob mcdonnell. former ohio governor ted strickland. texas congressman jeb hensarling and bob shrum, a democratic consultant who worked on the kerry and gore campaigns. it is tuesday, november 6th, election day. "starting point" is coming to you live from washington, d.c., and we begin right now. >> welcome, everybody, you're watching a special edition of starting point and cnn's live coverage of election day 2012. the two candidates have been talking for about 17 months now and now it's the american people who will have the final say.
these are the states with polls that are opening right now. state of delaware, state of florida, state of georgia, illinois, kansas, louisiana, maryland, massachusetts, michigan, missouri, pennsylvania, rhode island, south carolina, tennessee, and washington, d.c. you're looking at a live picture now from wilmington, delaware, where joe biden is expected to vote at any moment. the vice president then will head to chicago to watch the returns with president obama today. mitt romney is not letting up on this election day. he's added two campaign campaign stops today in cleveland, ohio, and in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. there are already legal issues that are plaguing two battleground states. state of florida, where there are more long lines yesterday, and democrats are suing to extend early voting hours, even though those early voting hours legally ended on saturday. then the state of ohio, where a hear something now set for wednesday morning to hear arguments about the rules for counting provisional ballots. final tally from the buckeye state could take weeks. and in the aftermath of superstorm sandy, new jersey is
allowing voting by e-mail, or by fax. new york is permitting voters in disaster areas to cast ballots at any polling place in the entire state. cnn correspondents are all across the map today, in those key battleground states. john berman has more on that for us this morning. good morning. >> good morning, soledad. you know, in new hampshire polls have been open for just over an hour. but voters in dixville notch got a head start. at midnight they cast the first in the nation ballots. really the first to be counted. there were just ten of them. president obama got five votes, mitt romney also got five votes. a tie and that has never happened before. now, not to be outdone, another new hampshire town also voted at midnight, harts location new hampshire, they reinstated 9 practice in 1996. they started it back in the 1940s. the result there this year, president obama with 23 votes, mitt romney with 9 votes. our david mattingly is live in bedford, new hampshire, this morning, where they are already voting as we said. good morning, david.
>> good morning, john. here in bedford, state officials describe this polling location as one of the busiest in the country. this is a high school gymnasium. it is full of polling booths right now. and look at the crowd that's already here. some of these people got in line well over an hour ago, and they came in with smiles on their faces. a great deal of excitement today. the secretary of state in new hampshire believes that there could be as many as 70% voter turnout in the granite state today. they have 800,000 people registered to vote. and new hampshire has a provision where they allow people to register to vote when they come into the polling place. so it's possible we could be seeing another 100,000 people signing up to vote today. gut again expect a very heavy volume through new hampshire. a state that can't be described as red or blue right now, because it's so evenly divided down the middle. right now, new hampshire is
purple. it might be later today, 7:00 tonight, or even later before we know what color it really wants to turn. john? >> david, thank you so much. new hampshire truly has become a swing state. another swing state, ohio. the one many believe could ultimately determine the winner of this whole thing. polls in the buckeye state have been open for about half an hour right now. as we mentioned one of mitt romney's final campaign rallies today is in ohio. carol costello is live in blue ash, ohio, which is right near cincinnati. good morning, carol. i see voters behind you. >> you think there's no enthusiasm to vote this year? you would be wrong, john berman. this is blue ash, ohio, and hamilton county, ohio. a traditionally republican county. and take a look at all the people filling this polling station already. they started lining up by car, at about 5:30 this morning. in fact, i just talked to one voter. her name was linda. it was after she voted, of course. and she told me she was so excited to vote she actually woke up at 11:00 last night thinking that she missed the
voting. she tried to vote this weekend in early voting. the lines were too long, so she was very nervous about getting here and actually casting her ballot. she said it's time for a change and she really wanted to cast her ballot to change the country for the better. as you know, the big rub here in ohio will be the provisional ballot. if there's a problem in your registration or you applied for an absentee ballot and you decided to vote in person you're going to have to fill out a provisional ballot. you're going to have to fill it out exactly correct, by yourself, if not that provisional ballot may be thrown out and your vote won't count. of course there's already been filed lawsuits because of that. we'll get into all that later and hope there are no problems. back to you, john. >> carol castillo live in blue ash, ohio. the polls have just opened in another key battleground state, florida. and for mitt romney it's more than really key. it's really critical. he almost definitely needs to win florida in order to win the
white house. and ashleigh banfield is live in miami. she's in front of a line of people. wow, a long line of people waiting to cast ballots there. >> ahappen. john berman, do you think this is a lot of people behind me? walk with me, my friend. let's take a little look lee-do. this started well before 5:00 a.m. it has grown to over 300 people. loopsydo around and back up this way and now come with me to the polling station. as i tell you the story of a number of people in this line, who, in florida, made the attempt to vote early. some of them, many of them, in fact, i spoke to personally, they went and they voted, they waited two hours in line, and abandoned. said i just couldn't be done. and then they went back and tried again to vote the next day. waited two hours in line. and that didn't work. so they're back again today, and one woman who was at the front of the line at 5:00 this morning said she was prepared to wait at least two more hours. the polls just opened. so my assumption is she's just
gone in. come on through here and i want to get you a peek. it's a little tricky to see but you can see them voting in there and they got these, real quickly, john, let me show you. they gave these out in line. they're sample ballots. there's nine pages long. some in miami-dade up to 12 pages which is why it takes a long time to vote which is why we have long lines. this is just a taste of things to come today, john. >> ashleigh banfield in miami. introducing a new word to the political vocabulary, loopsydo. thank you so much. >> loopsydo. we're going to go now to virginia where they're already voting this morning, as well. this is one of the states where the polls close fairly early, 7:00 p.m. eastern time. it is one to watch early. and randi kaye is live in woodbridge, virginia. good morning, randi. >> good morning, john. we're in prince william county, and virginia likes to think of itself this year as the new ohio. and they mean business. we have seen a steady stream of folks here coming to vote. probably a couple hundred right now. there are 2600 registered voters
for the precinct that we're at. they don't have any early voting here in virginia so they are coming out today. a couple things that we're watching are the demographics. it's the old virginia versus the new virginia. the old virginia is republican. religious. white working class. the new virginia is diverse and more urban. that's who helped get obama elected, winning by about 6% back in 2008. we'll also be watching the economy. the economy is fairly robust. 5.2% unemployment. housing prices are going up. the jobs are coming back. mitt romney having a hard time making that same argument. against obama that he has failed in terms of the economy here in the state ofva. and, of course, we'll be watching the senate race, a marquee race, $53 million in outside spending. the race of two former governors, george allen the republican, tim kaine the democrat. >> randi kaye live in virginia. cnn is all over the map for you this morning, including the state of new york. where the damage from superstorm
sandy has made voting difficult for people who were displaced from their homes by hurricane sandy. new york's governor is doing something about it. voters who live in disaster zones can now vote at any polling place. cnn's alina cho is at a makeshift polling station live in brooklyn, new york, this morning. good morning, alina. >> john, good morning to you. i'm at the only school in new york city that is actually doubling as a shelter and a polling station today. the polls have been open here for about an hour, and if turnout is any guide here i can tell you that turnout will be very high in new york state. hundreds of people have already cast their ballots, i spoke to a lot of people inside where the line was snaking inside the building. lots of people said to me, this is a very important election. i want to cast my ballot early. i spoke to another young woman who is voting in her very first election. she ca with her mother today. late yesterday, in an extraordinary move, new york's governor andrew cuomo signed an executive order basically saying
that if you live in a federal disaster zone in new york, you can cast your ballot not just in your district, but in any district in new york. that is significant, and unprecedented. the governor says just because you are displaced, it doesn't mean you should be disenfranchised. he also said it won't be easy, but after last week, meaning hurricane sandy, john, this, the governor says, will be a walk in the park. john? >> all right. thanks so much, alina. it is interesting, there are different rules in different states for how close cameras can get to these polling places. but we are at so many of them for you this morning. we go now to soledad. >> let's go right to wilmington, delaware. that is where the vice president joe biden is now casting his vote. here's a live picture. that would be, i believe -- we're looking at the back of his head? there it is the back of his head as he votes. that's his wife jill standing on the right side of the screen there. they will be voting this morning a little bit later, vice president is planning to get to chicago, watching the returns this evening with the president, president obama.
polls are starting to open. there's another concern, and that is making sure that all the votes are counted and that they're counted accurately. ali velshi is following any voting regularities that could develop. we've been e-mailing back and forth this morning, because some people the minute they get confused or feel like something's up they send us a tweet or e-mail. >> that's what they should be doing. that's exactly what they should be doing. i'll tell you how you get in touch with us. in response to one tweet you got, one e-mail you got from somebody in new jersey. how do you take advantage of this fax or online voting in new jersey? generally it is for people who have been displaced from their homes or first responders. you have to go to the new jersey department of elections site. you have to apply. they'll give you a response within an hour and then depending on what you chose they'll either fax you or e-mail you a ballot which has to be filed by 5:00 p.m. today. if you are not displaced but you're just having trouble getting to your voting site you need to call the office and see
whether they'll allow you to do this. that's part of the approval process. hamilton county, indiana, we've had several tweets to say there are voting machines that are down there. we're looking in to that to see when they'll be up. also getting news from new york city, there are some automatic polls that are down. again, bear with it. have patience. the danger here, as ashleigh said, is that people are leaving the polls. because these lines are long or the machines aren't working. we're going to try to make sure everybody who wants to vote can get to vote. and you can let us know about that, soledad. >> ali, thank you for watching. and if you want to share your experience, just send us a tweet or an e-mail, or just send us a text on twitter #cnnvotewatch. e-mail us at votewatch @cnn.com. or text us at cnn 55333 or you can follow ali on twitter or me on twitter as well. let's get right to zoraida for a look at some of the other stories making news. >> a lot of critical races to watch today. many of them impacting the balance of power in congress.
in massachusetts, incumbent republican senator scott brown is in a very tight race against former obama administration official elizabeth warren. local polls show it is just too close to call. north dakota senate race is also getting a lot of attention. republican rick burgh battling heidi hicam. republicans are banking on a big win for berg to help them gain control of the senate. former arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords has cast her vote. she and her successor, democratic congressman ron barber dropped off their ballot in downtown tucson. this was yesterday. barber was shot twice alongside giffords in the tucson rampage that killed six people in 2011. he is going for a full term after winning a special election in june. he's locked in a really tough race against republican martha mcsally. communities in the northeast are trying to clean up from the devastation left by superstorm sandy. and now they're facing a new
storm. brick, new jersey, has already ordered mandatory evacuation for residents in low-lying areas. also encouraging others to leave if their home could be affected. sandy forced thousands of people in new york and new jersey from their homes and more than 1 million are still without power this morning. meteorologist rob marciano is tracking that storm for us. what can you tell us, rob? >> in georgia right now and florida, rain across florida could be heavy at times as this front comes through. hits tampa here in the next hour or so. jacksonville seeing some rain. orlando, you're next, you'll see some rainfall as well. this is important because study shows that one inch of rainfall will actually decrease voter turnout by 1%. and general, foul weather, which rain would be a part of that, helps the republicans by about 2.5%. other areas, wisconsin, a mixture of rain and snow. shouldn't be too bad. rest of the country doesn't look terribly awful. we are watching this storm that will come out of florida today and head up the eastern seaboard. this is the nor'easter that we've been fearing, and there
are coastal flood watches and highway watches posted now, potential for seeing some snow as well. there's some cold air with this. obviously some wind. models trending a little bit further to the east. that would be good. the further east, we'll keep you posted. impacts beginning tomorrow about midday, zoraida. back to you. >> insult to injury. we keep on saying. thank you so much, rob. we appreciate it. got to wonder how many people actually go out and vote particularly in the northeast, right? >> they've got time, right? talking about noon, it's a fair amount of time. all right, zoraida, thank you. still ahead on "starting point" this morning, as voters head to the polls they're not only thinking next president, they're obviously thinking their local officials too. so what are some of the scenarios that could play out in the house of representatives? we're going to talk with south carolina congressman jim clyburn coming up next. president obama: there's just no quit in america...
and you're seeing that right now. over five million new jobs. exports up forty one percent. home values... rising. our auto industry... back. and our heroes are coming home. we're not there yet, but we've made real progress and the... last thing we should do is turn back now. here's my plan for the next four years:
making education and training a national priority; building on our manufacturing boom; boosting american-made energy; reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where... we can, and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. and ending the war in afghanistan, so we can... do some nation-building here at home. that's the right path. so read my plan, compare it to governor romney's... and decide which is better for you. it's an honor to be your president... and i'm asking for your vote... so together, we can keep moving america forward. i'm barack obama and i approve this message.
bad there. you can see the line of photographers seems to be as long as the line of people who are trying to cast their ballots this morning. our team this morning on this special edition of "starting point," erick erickson is with us, editor in chief of redstate.com and a cnn contributor. ryan liz today is a washington correspondent for new yorker and cnn contributor as well. roland martin stepped out for a radio hit. he's the host of washington watch with roland martin, also a cnn political analyst. polling stations open right now in 26 states. and today, president obama will be in chicago, while governor romney hits a couple of swing states. last night both men were making their final, and i thought very emotional appeals to voters. listen. >> to all of you who've lived and breathed the hard work of change, i want to thank you. >> i ask the american people to vote for love of country. >> let's get right to south carolina congressman jim clyburn. he's the third ranking democrat in the house, and an obama campaign supporters.
the polls in his state opened up at the top of the hour. south carolina is considered to be governor romney's territory there. nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us. certainly appreciate it. >> well, thank you so much for having me. >> all right. let's start with, with some of the emotion as both candidates were wrapping up those speeches last night. michelle obama, i thought, as well, was, was emotional, more emotional certainly than i've heard her before, when she was talking to the crowd. let's play a little bit of that. the auto industry was in crisis. this economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. and a lot of folks were wondering whether we were headed for another great depression. do you hear me? that's what people were worrying about. and that is what barack faced on day one as president of the united states. >> how emotional has this last tour for the president and michelle obama been? >> it's been very emotional.
and last night, when i watched some of that i found myself walking away from the television, i know michelle obama's family very well. her family roots, on her father's side, or right here in south carolina and georgetown county, which was a part of my congressional district, so i understand that emotion ap. so those emotions, you get wrapped up here and then you lay your heart out, and you know that you were not dealt a hand that anybody would want. but, and you know you played it as best you could. and you wish you had more support from the other side. but you know, when you're playing your hand, and you show all your cards and the other person fails to follow suit, it's tough. and you feel that.
and this president has done a great job. we -- he's laid it out for the american people. people have gotten tied into his campaign. i've been running all over the country. i went to five states in five days. and i'll tell you, people are very, very emotional all over. >> congressman, it's john berman here in washington, d.c. all the polls we're looking at right now, they tell a story of something of a divided country right now. that either president obama will be elected with an historically low white turnout or that mitt romney will be elected with a historically low minority turnout. what does that mean for tomorrow? how does the president, whoever wins, move forward? >> well, i think that everybody wins an election. it should lay out to prove to all the voters that you are magnanimous and to serve all
people. one of the problems we have with our election process is that we have this winner take all. 50% plus one and then you get the whole barrel. and then you have to be magnanimous enough to demonstrate everything that you promised during the campaign. and i think president obama did that. he did a tremendous job of reaching out to the other side time and time again. and i was there in the congress, watching some of this, and i was among those who kept saying to him, just forget it, they aren't going to work with you. but this president kept doing it. kept doing it, kept doing it. and i think when sandy visited the northeast coast, he was able to demonstrate to the entire country and the world, if you please, his ability to reach out and that's what he did with governor countriesty and i really believe that became a defining moment in this campaign and people got to city just how magnanimous this guy is. >> congressman jim clyburn
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welcome back, everybody. it's been 17 months of campaign promises, and tv commercials. americans now head to the polls to pick their president today. welcome, you're watching a special election day edition of "starting point." we're coming to you live from washington, d.c. as is tradition we already have the first results in in dixville notch, new hampshire. and for the first time in history, it's a tie. five votes for president obama.
five votes for mitt romney. right now the polls are open in 26 states and in washington, d.c. among them, key swing states of pennsylvania, ohio, and virginia. just a few minutes ago we showed you vice president joe biden, and the second lady, dr. jill biden, voting in wilmington, delaware. in just a moment i'll be talking with president obama's senior adviser, david axelrod. first though let's get right to john berman with a look at what's happening on the campaigns today. >> thanks so much, soledad. the polls are open in the president's home state of illinois. of course the president has already voted. so he will spend election day in chicago, after a busy final day delivering his closing remarks to voters in iowa and other states. cnn's dan lothian is following team obama in chicago and the president's got kind of a traditional day planned for himself. >> he does. and you know what the campaign says he likes to do every time election time rolls around on election day, he likes to play basketball, he surrounds himself with what i've been calling the class of 2008. these are some of the folks who
were with him from the very beginning. some stayed on the administration, then went on to do other things. so we're seeing reggie love, the president's former body man. he was brought on the last couple of days on the campaign trail. he will be -- he's the one, we are told, was charged with organizing this basketball game. robert gibbs, the former press secretary, is back again. a lot of reflection is being done here talking about the last four years. not only the president's accomplishments but what it has meant to be part of his team. we saw a little bit of this reelection from the president, as well, during the final campaign stop of his political career in iowa yesterday where he was thanking all of those who've supported him over the years. take a listen. >> i want to take this community to say one thing to all the young people and not so young people who've given so much to this campaign over the years those who haven't done this just
for me, but for each other, for a laid off family member, for a sick child, for a fallen friend. all of you who've lived and breathed the hard work of change, i want to thank you. >> now we're told by campaign aides that the president is optimistic about the outcome of the elections. no plans for the president to head back out ton the campaign trail, as we see governor romney going to ohio and pennsylvania. instead the president will be doing some satellite interviews, some radio interviews, as well. some of his aides will be going on television. the big push will be to make sure that folks get out to the polls and vote. john? >> all right, dan lothian in chicago. there will be no basketball today for mitt romney. he is expected to cast his vote in about one hour from now in his hometown of belmont, massachusetts. the polls there have just opened. as dan said mitt romney is not done campaigning. he has two stops today. one in ohio, and one in pennsylvania. joined now by peter hamby live at the romney headquarters in boston, massachusetts. peter, these are sort of late
additions to the schedule. . >> yeah, and travel is the best indicator of a campaign's thinking. we've known that pennsylvania sort of last-minute gamble/insurance policy for the romney campaign. 96% of the vote is on the table there today, because there isn't really early voting. but the ohio travel jumped out at me and paul ryan is also going to ohio today, john. this signals to me that they are nervous about ohio, as they have been. but they're just a little more nervous in these closing days. but, you know, romney himself, of course, is projecting confidence outwardly. check out this rally last night in new hampshire that pulled 12,000 people. this is what he said. >> we have known many long days and short nights, and now we're close. the door to a brighter future is there. it's open. it's waiting for us. i need your vote. i need your help. walk with me. walk together. tomorrow we begin a new tomorrow. >> there is, john, an air of
anxiety and nervousness inside the romney campaign. but also they know they still can win. and they're right. there's enough variables around the margins in these states. i was just in ohio for the last few days. republicans there think they can still pull it out. and i think they're right, john. but looking at the states, the romney campaign is confident about florida. they're confident about north carolina. they're confident about colorado. and they're actually really confident about new hampshire. the problem is that doesn't get them over the hump, and ohio seems to be the wall that they're going to be running into today, john. >> and he will run into it again today with a last trip there on election day. heater hamby live in boston. let's go back to soledad. >> let's get right to the president's senior campaign adviser, david axelrod joining us this morning. let's talk about ohio. since peter hamby was just laying that out for us. if you look at likely voters, choice for president, cnn/orc poll, 50% for president obama, mitt romney at 47%. little more of a gap there if you're looking at the nbc/"wall
street journal"/marist poll which is 51% to 45% for governor romney. when you talk to conservatives, karl rove, for example, he says listen, they're claiming a net gain for the gop in early voting in ohio from four years enough to wipe out the entire margin victory from 2008 for president obama the bottom line being like if they can win tonight that that means that the early votes won't won't matter. what do you say to that? >> of course karl got a bunch of folks to give him hundreds of millions of dollars to try and beat this president so i think he needs to -- he's in hyperspin there. the fact of the matter is that every single bit of data out of ohio in the last few days has been very encouraging to us, and particularly the early voting. you know, we fought hard in court to maintain early voting for voters across ohio in the last few days of the campaign. and there was an explosion of voting there.
we think we're going in with a significant edge. obviously it's close. the whole election is close. we've got incredible organization there and we're going to be making sure we get our vote out today. so my opt milk is based on cold, hard data. their optimism is based on some faith and some unseen hidden wave and i think that they're going to be disappointed tonight. >> let me ask erick erickson a quick question. your optimism is based on faith. his is based on the numbers. >> i think my optimism is based on the fact that when you look at colorado where they've had a very strong turnout for the democrats, they're probably going to lose colorado. i see the same thing happening in ohio when you have evangelical catholic voters who are really angry with the president on some of the religious freedom issues and blue collar workers. it's going to be very close, but i do see them particularly on the eastern side of the ohio turning out for republicans in a way they didn't turn out in 2008. as the surrounding suburban counties from cleveland. >> i would also wonder about the provisional ballots.
200,000 according to the secretary of state in ohio. 200,000 provisional ballots could be cast today. they couldn't be counted for ten days. do you think we'll be waiting the ten days to go through those provisional ballots or do you think it's decided tonight? >> if you're directing that question to me -- >> i am, sorry. >> i think we're going to continue tonight. we're going to watch -- we're going to watch that -- we're going to watch those ballots closely. we want to make sure that everybody's voice is heard in this election. but one thing i'd say about ohio, soledad, is that an issue that's crystallized in the last few days is this issue of the auto bailout. the auto intervention. the president stepped in, saved the auto industry, and in ohio one in eight jobs flow from that auto industry. governor romney's opposition to that action has been an issue in the campaign and then a late ad in that campaign that implied otherwise and suggested that somehow jeep was moving jobs to china created a real backlash in
that state and i think that's going to come into play today, as well. >> john king says when he talks to people, some who are with campaigns, some who are not with campaigns they're pointing to 10,000 to 15,000 votes decided in the state of ohio. do you think that's a fair assessment? and do you think that what david axelrod was just saying about the jeep controversy, if you will >> it's obviously going to be very, very close. i will say that you look at the last, you know, 40 polls in ohio, and it's been polled to death, the president has a consistent -- a small but consistent lead, so i think all of us are going to be shocked tonight if romney wins that state looking at the data over the last couple of months. the auto bailout, obviously, if obama wins, explanations of why he won, and why he holds those midwestern states, iowa, wisconsin and ohio, i think we're going to be talking a lot about his decision in the auto bailout in 2009 as the main
factor. i agree with that. >> the problem romney had was that he put that jeep ad out. you have papers across the state who were saying it's a lie, it's not true, and so, why did you rekindle, mark spoke to this yesterday, why did you rekindle an issue that is an achilles heel? that made no sense whatsoever. i think he helped the obama campaign out tremendously by talking about jeep and putting that ad out to discuss it. >> david, do you guys calculate how many votes you think that that would be responsible for? i mean is that a math that you do, you say listen that i think it's true that said yesterday that he thought that was a big misstep do you sort of drill down into that? >> i don't think you can make an empirical calculation as to how many votes that will mean. but what it did was create an even larger gulf of trust, and trust is a big issue in this campaign. and particularly for these voters in ohio, for whom questions like the survival of the auto industry are very much questions about their families'
economic well-being. so there's no doubt in my mind that as we travel around the state, we were there every day for the last four days, we heard this everywhere we went. and i think it's going to be a factor in this election. >> let me ask you a question about the nate silver does this polling, and this i think it was last night he was tweeting that there was sort of a 91% certainty by the, the, by looking at likely voters and sort of crunching those numbers through a formula that president obama would win the electoral college. and, and then other people say well very, very tight. so how can both of those things be true? 91% sounds like it's, you know, a, a, a strong victory. >> well, first of all, this is all theoretical. we believe we're in a strong position to win this election. but it's only a theory until people go out and vote. and what's important today is to make sure that everybody does go out and vote, because even though i think our chances are good, it's going to be a narrow election. and because it's a narrow
election particularly in these battleground states there will be questions about what margin will exist in the electoral college nate silver suggests somewhere around 315 electoral votes. others have said less. others have said more. we'll see. i believe we're going to be on top and in more of the states than were listed before. we're even or ahead in every one of those battleground states. we've got a big lead in the early vote in several of them, including ohio, iowa, nevada, we've got a lead in colorado. we feel very good about where we are. >> david axelrod joining us this morning. thanks for being with us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> you want to be sure to watch the rest of our cnn election team tonight when the first polls close at 6:00 p.m. eastern. you can follow the exact countdown in the lower left-hand side of your screen and as the clock ticks for those closing. there are other stories making news this morning. zoraida's got that for you. >> good morning. another key race to watch today former presidential candidate michele bachmann in the toughest
battle of her political life. minnesota congresswoman is in a tight race with democratic challenger jim graves. in their final debate, bachmann defended her claims that muslim brotherhood operatives have infiltrated the federal government. and a sign today that the northeast is slowly recovering from superstorm sandy. the national september 11th memorial at the world trade center site in new york city reopened today. it was closed due to flooding from sandy. the storm forced thousands from their damaged homes, and more than 1 million people are still without electricity this morning. they're without heat and hot water, as well. and what could be a major blow to the embattled regime of syrian president bashar al assad, seven syrian army generals defected today to neighboring turkey. turkish media report that the generals arrived at the turkish border and asked for refuge. they were granted entry, and taken to a location in southern turkey under very tight security measures. switch gears here, monday night football. new orleans and philadelphia,
saints quarterback drew brees throwing two touchdown passes in a 28-13 victory over the eagles. philadelphia quarterback michael vick sacked seven times as the eagles stumbled to their fourth straight loss. roland was saying earlier he's waking up with a lot of ben guy this morning. >> that's a lot of getting hit. >> you'll be getting a rubdown maybe. thanks zoraida. still ahead on "starting point," many of the roads to 270 electoral votes lead through the state of ohio. but what happens if pennsylvania is in play? can pennsylvania put mitt romney over the top if he loses ohio? christine romans is going to look at the map for us, that's coming up next. ♪
welcome back, everybody. we begin with a look at blue ash, ohio. that's where voters are lined up. polls in the buckeye state, they're going to be voting this morning in the buckeye state, of course, is a crucial battleground. opened at 6:30 this morning eastern time. christine's got a look at the electoral college and how we get to that magic number of 270. >> here's where it stands right now. you can see the dark red states, our projections are these are pretty reliable for mitt romney. blue is for obama. when you add up the electoral votes, 237 to 206. these are projections. as the night wears on we'll start turning these states as the vote turns in. what can happen here. democrats are confident about wisconsin and they're confident about iowa and they're confident about nevada right now. that puts the president at 259. mitt romney really, really want florida. and they really, really want virginia, and they think that they have a chance at colorado and paul ryan spent a lot of
time in colorado. look at how close that is, soledad that means these 18 electoral votes in ohio are critical for whoever is going to be the next president of the united states. critical. but there are pathways for romney to the white house that don't include ohio at this point. let's give ohio to the president. and let's do a couple of things here. let's say potentially that romney gets nevada. and that romney gets wisconsin. right? look at that 273. that would be how mitt romney would do it. again, it could happen. it could not happen. i mean when you look at the polls. the polls are leaning toward the president at this poix. but those are still toss-up states. there's another way to do it, too. what if this reliably blue state is not blue anymore but turns red. you know mitt romney is spending part of today in pittsburgh. he'll have, you know, access to the tv markets of eastern person -- western pennsylvania and eastern ohio. what if that turned red? that would put romney over the top, as well. >> those are two potential hypothetical ways to the
presidency without ohio for mitt romney. >> fascinating. we've been really focused on ohio. it is doable without ohio, i'm sure that the romney campaign has been crunching that very path. >> oh, yes. >> christine, thank you. still ahead this morning on "starting point." today's election will not only decide who's going to be president of the united states for the next four years, also decide the balance of power in washington, d.c. we'll break that down up next. stay with us.
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power in the senate and house that could really determine how much gets done in washington for the next four years. political editor paul steinhauser is here to break it all down. >> you're right. the battle for the white house is grabbing all the attention, but the battle for capitol hill is just as important. 53 democrats, actually 51 democrats and 47 republicans. how many seats are up for grabs right now? 33 seats are up for grabs. of those 33, democrats control or are defending 23 of those 33 seats. the next map, 13 races really could -- the most competitive, could decide who wins control of the senate. take a lock at these races. right here, virginia, wisconsin, connecticut, ohio, montana, nebraska, north dakota and missouri. missouri, interest iing. the republicans really thought they would have a pick up there, but republican todd aiken, his controversy over rape has weakened their stance there.
it's not just the drts playing defense. republicans are playing defense as well, john. these states in red are the ones republicans are defending. massachusetts and maine up in the northeast, republicans, you may lose those. indiana, that's a seat they thought for sure they would keep. richard mourdock, controversy over rape again. if it comes down to a 50/50 s senate, race for the white house will depend who controls the senate. will it be vice president biden or vice president paul ryan? >> democrats are optimistic there will not be a senate flip to the republicans. democrats i speak to are much less optimistic about the house of representatives and finding any real gains there. what's the situation? >> democrats need to win back 25 seats, a lot of seats to win back control of the house they lost in 2010.
democrats aren't really -- there's no bravado there. they say they could do the pick up, but that's very, very tough math. the house race, more than the s senate, will be determined by the wave with of the general election. if mitt romney has a good night, republicans will keep control of the house. if president obama has a huge night, maybe the democrats have a chance at 25 pick up, but it is a long shot. >> tougher than the blue dog states and not doing as well in the moderate states? paul steinhauser, thank you very much for being here this morning. we continue our special election day edition, what polls are opening at the top of the hour and all the implications of today's votes. our correspondents are all across the country. and we'll be talking with bob mcdonald, governor of the battleground state of virginia. answery lot to say. stay with us. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing.
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i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state. morning. welcome, everybody. i'm soledad o'brien. you are watching a special election day edition of "starting point." it is decision day. it is 8:00 in the morning in the east coast. polls are open in 36 states and in washington, d.c. millions of americans will vote, to choose the next president of the united states of america.
best political team on tv has it covered no matter how long it might take to find out who is the actual winner. >> i'm john berman. some of the results are in. dixville notch and harts landing, on the tradition of being first, these results could be telling. >> i'm christine romans, 270 or bust, the magic number for clinching the white house. whether the road to the white house must go through ohio. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. disaster victims still want to be counted, hurricane sandy forcing an election day scramble. now another nor'easter could add to the misery and all the confusi confusion. we have a jam packed hour for you this morning. bob mcdonl will join us, form ohio governor ted strickland, jeb hensarling and bob shrum will be joining us.
"starting point" is live from washington, d.c. and we begin right now. welcome, everybody. you're watch iing a special election day edition of "starting point." polls are open now across the country. after 17 months of campaigning and over 1 million television commercials, it's time for the american people to pick their next president. at this hour, ten more states are opening their polls to voters. alabama, arizona, iowa, minnesota, mississippi, north dakota, oklahoma, south dakota, texas and which is wiisconsin. vice president joe biden and dr. jill biden cast their votes this morning in delaware. mitt and ann romney are expected to cast their ballots in massachusetts later this morning. in cleveland, ohio, and in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, stops today. and legal battles are already
developing in two battleground states. state of florida, where there are long lines to vote. democrats are suing to extend those early voting hours, even though legally those early voting hours ended on saturday. in the state of ohio, a hearing is set for wednesday morning to hear arguments about the rules for counting provisional ballots. that means a final tally from the buckeye state could actually take weeks in the aftermath of superstorm sandy, new jersey is allowing voting by e-mail or fax. new york is letting voters affected by the disaster to cast their ballots at any polling station. cnn has the election covered like no other network can. john berman has more on the battlegrounds and the very first results. john? >> that's right. we do have some results. in the end, just after midnight in new hampshire, the tiny town of dixville notch made history. five for barack obama and five for mitt romney. they've never had a tie before in the traditional first in the nation vote. there was another new hampshire vote at midnight, which
reinstated the practice in 1996 after doing away with it in the '40s. the results there, obama had 23 votes, mitt romney had 9 votes. the rest of the state is now going to the polls, which have been open two hours now. new hampshire is just one of the hotly contested swing states. ohio could be the biggest prize of all in this presidential election, mitt romney make iinge last campaign appearance in the buckeye state with an appearance in cleveland. polls in ohio have been open now about an hour and a half. and carol costello is live in blue ash, ohio, near cincinnati with voters right behind her. morning, carol. >> reporter: voters right behind me, voting in a steady stream here in hamilton county, ohio, where cincinnati is locate d. i was talking to voters about that tiny dixville notch and they were saying no. they're hoping it's not a sign of what's to come in ohio. they want a decisive victory in ohio so this election can be over. polls opened at 6:30 eastern
time. there were hundreds of people in line. they were enthusiastic to cast that ballot, especially republicans standing in line. in fact, one woman told me she felt it was important to cast her vote this year to save the country. she said this year, voters had in mind that they had to get involved in what was happening in the united states of america because that's the only way that things could get better as far as the economy was concerned. i'm going to stick around, john. in case you're wondering, only three provisional ballots filed here so far. >> maybe that's a good sign. carol costello in ohio, thank you very much. voters in florida are also waiting in long lines to vote. largest prize in college electoral votes. and critical for mitt romney. ashleigh banfield is live in miami. a mob scene there, ashleigh. >> reporter: wow, when you said a big prize, 29 electoral votes is about the biggest kahuna
wouyou would want. loop deloop, john, we've been open for an hour and loop de loop continues. look who showed up, campaign workers who were here to either show a presence or talk to some of the voters in line as long as they stay 100 feet out from the polls station, or to hand out things like this. these are things they've been giving people in line, the ballot issues here. this one was interesting. all the republican choices that you can make once you get inside. now once you get inside, which is way down here in the line, you've got to go through a ballot that is nine pages long. we've already asked several voters who have emerged since the polls opened and since last i spoke with you. and they reported to us that it took anywhere between 10 minutes and 30 minutes to get through that process, through those doors, john berman.
i know i've got to throw it back to you, but that's how long it's taking and that's why there's long lines. >> ashleigh banfield, live in florida. i can't believe those lines there this morning. >> reporter: i know. >> thanks, ashleigh. candidates have been in a dead heat in virginia. and the polls closed early. 7:00 pm eastern time. it could be one of the first states decided. certainly one of the ones to watch early tonight. randi kaye joins us live now from woodbridge. good morning, randi. >> reporter: you may not be able to tell from those few folks gathered behind me but we went inside and there's quite a line inside this polling station, about a two-hour wait to cast your vote. one aye talked to one guy in line. you're not going to believe this. he is still undecided. he was researching the candidates standing in line. he went to a romney rally in fairfax, virginia. education is most important to him. interest rates, he's concerned
about. he's not sure if he wants to vote for mitt romney because he's concerned about the rates going up. another woman, who talked about compassion and integrity are most important for her. i talked to a guy inside who works for the government. he says he's upset because they haven't been able to get bonuses of the past few years and president obama has frozen the cost of living for them. he has two kids in college and says that's hurts a lot. mix of people inside with very strong opinions. >> wow, two-hour lines. i guess that does make for some enthusiasm. soledad, back to you. there's a new concern, which is make sure that all the votes are counted and then counted correctly. ali velshi is following any potential problems from the cnn center in atlanta. voters have been tweeting me, certainly, and i know you, too, ali. >> yeah. >> about the problems and some of the hassles they've been having. >> i encourage them to continue to do so. we can be reached all sorts of ways, tweet, e-mail, text.
two categories problems are falling into, technical problems with voting machines. and two is lineups. first problem, the technical problems are causing some people to go away because they can't wait around until the problem is fixed. hopefully, they will come back. lots of reports of voteing machines not working. these are pictures from florida, showing line ups. we've had ashleigh out there this morning, showing more of them. there's also a series of problems in new jersey with the e-mail voting, a number of people saying they have not had a response after having submitted an application to vote by fax or e-mail. we're in close touch with the board of elections there. and some chaos in the new jersey/new york area with polling places that are open. a lot of people there. i ask people to be patient if you're there. it is, in most parts of this country, going to take longer than normal, soledad. >> and patience today. folks in virginia, the line is three hours long and some people are ditching all together and
not staying to vote because they don't want to spend the time. ali, thank you for sharing that with us. send a tweet, e-mail or text. #cnnvotewatch. e-mail is email@example.com or text cnn 55333. margaret hoover is with us, cnn political contributor, former member of the bush white house. ryan lizza is aa national correspondent for the new yorker and cnn contributor. and cnn contributor as well. finally it's the big day. >> yay! >> she said it's birthing day. >> if you're a political consultant, this is the day we give birth. >> lot of visuals on that. all right. mitt romney in new hampshire, making their final appeals last night. here is a little bit of how it went.
>> it all comes down to you. it's out of my hands now. it's in yours. all of it depends on what you do. when you step into that voting booth tomorrow -- >> president obama has tried to convince you that these last four years have been a success. and so his plan for the next four years is to take all the ideas from the first four, the stimulus, the borrowing, obamacare and all that and do them all over again. he calls his plan forward. and i call it forewarned. >> you saw randi kaye a few moments ago in woodbridge, virginia, where the polls are open, with one point separating those two candidates in the state of virginia. the state is crucial for both sides. governor of the state of virginia, spending some of his time campaigning with governor romney in his state. nice to see you, sir. >> hi, soledad. >> hi there. >> thank you. >> virginia, one of the first big states -- first battleground states to close. >> yes.
>> what are you going to be looking for? everyone is going to start to rush to analyze those results. what are you looking for in your state? >> we certainly will be getting a lot of attention, lot of love from all the candidates this year. governor romney has been here a lot the last few days, as you just pointed out. i would look for the beltway counties around washington, d.c., loudon, fairfax, prince william, if governor romney were to win prince william county and hold his own and stay close in fairfax, to me that would be a great signal that he's going to win the state. same with chesterfield. and right around richmond. those are the bellwether counties. and that shows us how those independent, undecided voters break. i assume they're going to break against the president and for the challenger. they typically do in every case. that will be the best indicators for me, how we're going to do statewide, soledad. >> ryan lizza, we were talking about that likely voter
category. if you see a bigger gap than that one percentage that has been polled, that could mean some of your polling could be off, right? >> likely voting models have shown -- that's the art of polling. if you can't figure out who will be the electorate on election day. one, virginia's polls will close relatively early -- not early but we'll get those results early. they traditionally count their votes pretty fast. if those counties go for romney or obama, i think we're going to know early tonight where this thing is headed. if obama is winning those counties like fairfax and loudon, it's a very good sign for obama. if he wins virginia, it's a very difficult road for romney. this is the state i would watch tonight, to know which way this thing is going to go. >> is the storm, governor, having an impact on voting in your state? i know that there have been some problems. are you worried it goes to the next level, which is legal
challenges? >> no, soledad, i'm not. we were very blessed compared to new york and new jersey. we got a glancing blow. our people were very resolute. we extended absentee voting hours last week to give people extra time for that. there's no problem at the polling places. today, power was restored almost within two days. we're in good shape. people the last five days, after the campaign being frozen, have been able to focus back again on jobs and the economy and the top issues that they care about. and i think that's good. it's a normal campaign mode. and i think they're focused on jobs and the economy means governor romney wins virginia today. >> bob mcdonnell, thank you. appreciate your time. >> you bet, soledad. another crit ical state in the election, a state we've been talking about all morning, the state of ohio. no republican has won the presidency without that state. we'll talk to former governor ted strickland.
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welcome back, everybody. this looks like it's -- what is this, blue ash, ohio? not very long lines there. it looks pretty reasonable compared to the ones -- yes, i can, plus the fact that we labeled it blue ash, ohio. that help immediate significantly. nothing like the lines we're seeing in miami where ashleigh is. ohio cannot be overstated, the importance of that race. the poll of polls, which averages all the polls in ohio, president barack obama is clinging to a three-point lead. no margin of error there. let's get right to the former democratic governor of ohio, ted strickland, national chair for the obama campaign as well. good to see you, sir. >> it's a beautiful day in ohio. ohioans are getting out to vote and i think it's going to be a great day. >> wow, you sound happy and confident. when the polls close in ohio, what will you be looking for? what is the key thing for you that will give you an indication
of what's going to happen tonight overall when you look at ohio? >> well, you know, almost 2 million ohioans have already early voted. about 1.8 million. those votes, obviously, will be some of the vote -- first votes counted. and we believe the president has nearly a 2-1 lead in that early vote. but we'll be look iing at the turnout in cuyahoga county, which is where cleveland, ohio, is located. we'll be look over in the hamilton county area, in the cincinnati area, which is traditionally more conservative and republican. and then i'll be looking at my old congressional district along the ohio river, the appalachian region, because those are important votes and there's been a real struggle over there on the part of both campaigns. and so i'll be looking at all that. then, of course, central ohio, our capital city, columbus, ohio. >> you're looking at everything. sounds like you just listed absolutely everything in your
entire state, sir. >> every vote counts in ohio. >> it certainly does, governor strickland. my question for you -- margaret hoover here -- what are the democrats doing specifically to make up for the loss in voter registration that has happened since 2008? some reports have it as high as 490,000 voters, fewer are registered to vote now, four years later. what have you done to make up for that? especially the losses in democratic counties. >> this obama organization is phenomenal, let me tell you. we know where our voters are. we've been in contact with them. the obama organization never left ohio. they've been here for the last four years. we've had over 700 organizers over the last several months in ohio. 120 field offices or more, probably a little more than that. and so we've got our early vote out. we're happy about that. and now today tess a beautiful day and we know where our voters
are and we're communicating with them. i'm just so -- so confident that the president's going to win ohio. and i don't think it's going to be terribly close. >> what's your prediction? you want to put one out there? what would you say would be your prediction for ohio? >> well, my personal conviction was the president would get 51.6% of the vote, mr. romney would get a little over 58 -- 48%. but that's just my guess. i think it could be closer than that, but i also think it could be more expansive than that. >> governor, it's hilary rosen. how are you? i'm tempted to throw you a softball and ask you to match the democratic enthusiasm against the republican enthusiasm in ohio. give me that. but also we've been talking a lot about these provisional ballots in ohio and the potential impact on the campaign. >> yes. >> last time president obama won by a big enough margin on election night that they didn't need to worry about counting the provisional ballots. what do you think the chances
are that his margin this time is over that 250,000 votes or something that we anticipate he'll need to have the provisional ballots not be relevant? >> let me speak quickly to the enthusiasm issue. >> excellent. >> both candidates were in ohio yesterday. the president had about 15,500 people there. governor romney had about 10,000. we bested him there. there's enthusiasm on both sides and both sides are working to get out the vote. in terms of the provisional ballots in a very close election, it could absolutely delay the ohio result. and we hope that doesn't happen. i don't think it will. but theoretically, it could. i think the margin is going to be, you know, large enough that the provisional ballots will not make a critical difference. but we never know. people haven't voted yet.
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welcome back, everybody. we're live in washington, d.c. this morning on this election day. after 17 months of campaigning, americans are headed to the polls right now to pick their next president. you're watching a special election day edition of "starting point." voting is under way in 37 states and washed with polls in arkansas opening right now. in the next half hour, we'll break down the races, some of the key races with bob shrum, veteran democratic consultant and chief strategist for the 2004 kerry/edwards campaign. then jeb hensarling will be joining us. first let's get straight to john
berman. >> mitt romney is still pushing it. he is casting his vote in bell month, massachusetts. and then he has two rallies planned, one in ohio and the other in pennsylvania. jim acosty is live on mitt romn romney's press bus. is he headed to meet up with the candidate right now. jim, looking good. >> reporter: hey, john, thanks very much. looking good, despite a very long campaign that is finally coming to an end. we are on the romney press bus right now, waiting for the candidate to vote near his home in bellmont, massachusetts, then he will come here to bedford, massachusetts, where he will get on this charter bus one more time. the campaign says he won't be doing any rllys today, but visiting with some of his get out the vote supporters to make sure they are revitalized and rejuvenated on this final day of the campaign. let me show you around the bus, john. this will paint the picture of the day. we are used to seeing a much
larger c er contingent of the p corps, the last of the mohicans, if you will. i've talked to a senior romney adviser yesterday about why they're doing this. you might say from the obama standpoint this is one act of last desperation, but barack obama in 2008 did this on the last day and in 2004, president bush. >> that is one motley, haggard crew with you on the bus. >> yes, it is. >> after a very busy final day, delivering his closing argument to voters, cnn's dan lothian is live in chicago where the president will be hosting his celebration or perhaps concession event tonight. good morning, dan. >> good morning.
i don't have a bus to show you with a motley crew of folks traveling with the president. they, too, are tired and weary after this campaign. the president is feeling very optimistic, arrived here in chicago early this morning and will not be headed to the battleground states like governor mitt romney, to ohio or pennsylvania. instead, will be doing satellite interviews, radio interviews as well, we are told. and reflecting back over the last four years. and the president has been get ing a bit emotional as we saw last night during the final campaign stop in des moines, iowa. take a listen. >> i want to take this opportunity to say one thing to all the young people and not so young people who have given so much to this campaign over the years. those of you haven't done this just for me, but for each other, for a laid off family member, for a sick child, for a fallen friend. to all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of
change, i want to thank you. >> the campaign volunteers are still pushing hard on this election day in those co-battleground states, working the phones, going door to door. there are surrogates on television, doing radio interviews. the big push is to make sure that folks get out and vote. obviously this is a very close election, as you look at the polls. they want to make sure that every voter gets out there, votes, because every vote will count. john? >> thanks so much, dan lothian in chicago this morning. let's go to zoraida for other news to talk about today. >> the race for the white house isn't the only heated contest. in florida's 18th congressional district, alan west is trying to hold on against patrick murphy. west has taken florida democrats to task for questioning and filing suit over early voting there. massachusetts senate race is one of the toughest battles. senator scott brown, republican incumbent facing democrat
elizabeth warren, running neck and neck in one with of the most expensive races in the country. presidential candidate michele bachmann is in the race of her life. muslim brotherhood operatives have infiltrated the federal government. another storm on the way to the east coast. coastal town of brick, new jersey, who live in flood-prone areas have been told to evacuate ahead of that major storm headed their way. they and others in new jersey and new york have barely had time to catch their breath from the devastation of hurricane sandy last week. more than a million people still have no power this morning. it went out a week ago, soledad. really tough conditions for those folks. >> and ridiculous that another storm is coming and people haven't had a chance to clean up from the last one. zoraida, thank you. still ahead on "starting point" veteran strategist who worked on the kerry, edwards and
where it is using bing elections. it's a good day for politics. which way do you lean politically? conservative. republican. well, using the bing news selector you can find news from whichever way you lean. (together) social on this side, financial. which party is currently predicted to win a majority in the senate? the republicans? would you make a bet on that? no. are you chicken? everyone in the nicu, all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment.
flori florida. a battleground state we've been watch withing very closely. in that state and many others, all signs point to a razor-thin outcome between the two candidate candidates. we'll be keeping an eye on the exit polls as results start pouring in later today. a man with plenty experience with presidential elections, bob shrum served as a chief strategist for john kerry's 2004 campaign and al gore's campaign in 2000. what is the one thing that you are focused on the most? terms of how this race will go? >> virginia closes its polls early. if the president carries those states, he will carry virginia. he will be in a comfortable shape for re-election. that would be the first indicator. secondly, the turnout. all anectdotal at this point this morning. in new york city where there's
not a lot on the line, quite frankly, lines at the polling places are very long. i think enthusiasm is very high on both sides and we'll see a high turnout. >> hey, bob, it's ryan lizza. >> hi, ryan. >> we compare these elections to the previous election. the one that seems to make the most sense is 2004 when john kerry challenged george w. bush. you were at the center of that campaign. tell us how this is similar and different from that campaign and, you know, what you think the romney people are thinking on a night like this, going into a race that looks like it might be a little out of reach for them. but obviously some optimism that they could pull it out. >> i think in the electoral college it's more out of reach than it was in 2004. 2004 with came down to 60,000 votes in ohio. i don't think that's going to happen this year. i think you would have to have almost all of those swing state polls across the swing states uniformly wrong to get into a situation where one state would decide it. secondly, there was an intervening event that last
weekend, ryan, that you'll remember, which was the osama bin laden tape where he gave the advice to the american people to throw george w. bush out. that put terrorism right back at the center of the election. and i think did us real damage at the end. all elections are different. and the biggest difference between this and 2004 is the president didn't take, nor did romney, federal funding. therefore the battleground states, and we're all complaining about how few there are, it's actually broader than it used to be. virginia is a battleground state. we couldn't compete in virginia in 2004. we didn't have the money. colorado is a battleground state. we had to pull out two weeks before because we were in federal funding and didn't have the resources. >> hilary? >> hey, shrummy, it's hilary rosen. >> you called him shrummy? >> that's his name. >> goodness. okay. what's your question? >> everyone remembers around lunchtime in 2004 when we got those awful exit polls saying essentially that john kerry was going to be elected president
and we had a couple of hours of euphoria until the poll results came in. since that time, exit polling has actually changed and the distribution of them has totally changed. your big picture perfespective r a minute on how you think the polls has affected expectations here. >> has it gotten better? >> why this is different and is it better now? >> the exit polling we'll have to see today. i anticipate we'll see some early exit poll that is favor romney because that's what you see on droge. polling itself has become a weapon in campaigns. you have all these enterprises none of us have ever heard of that are putting polling numbers out there, many outliers in the states that need to simply be be dismiss dismissed. it goes to the theory this republicans have that if you say you're doing well, you're going to do well. my prime example of that is sending george w. bush to california in 2000 and spending $10 million in that state when
live election day coverage from washington, d.c. colorado is another one of the key battleground states in this election. the polls there, scheduled to open in less than ten minutes. cnn's ed lavendera is live in lakewood, colorado. >> reporter: good morning, john. western suburb of denver. romney campaign and obama campaigns will be paying close attention to what happens here. how jefferson county votes, many say, will determine which side wins the state of colorado and its nine electoral votes. that's because the nature of this county is equal parts republican, democrat and independent swing voters. they're looking to turn out the vote in jefferson county. early, 1.7 million people voted
here in this state already. that is the majority. here in jefferson county, we're told by election officials they expect turnout of about 95% of the vote. many of those people have already voted. 219,000 people voted early here in jefferson county. both sides will be looking very closely at how those independent swing voters turn out and vote. john? >> really a toss-up there. ed lavandera in lakewood, colorado, thanks, ed. soledad? let's get to jeb hensasm rling, up for re-election himself tonight. in your state, the state of texas -- >> good morning. >> thank you. good morning to you. here is the poll from likely texas voters. governor romney is way ahead there, 55%, president obama at 39% in that polling. let's focus a little bit more on congress. how do you see the balance of power going? if you look at -- >> i'll go out on a limb and -- >> go ahead, sir. >> i was just going to say, i was going to go out on a limb
and predict that governor romney will take texas. >> you know, i felt confident that you were going to go out on that very limb and predict that very thing. let's say, in all seriousness that, in fact, the chambers are split and you basically have what we have now. regardless of who wins, how do you navigate that so that we don't have a stalemate like we saw so much over the last years? >> well, again, today is obviously -- i know it's somewhat cliche, but today is the only poll that counts. we're going to have to find out do we have a united government or divided government? regardless, the american people know as a nation we've got to quit spending money we don't have. you know, in the last four years, we've had more debt created than in the last 200. you've got to quit spending money you don't have. hopefully, both parties will recognize that. you know, the president himself once said that the drivers of our debt are medicare, medicaid
and health care. nothing else comes close. i give him credit for saying it, but i fault him for having no plan. his budget never, ever balances. mitt romney has put together a plan that is sustainable and does take us to the path of a balanced budget so our children can have a brighter future. i hope both parties, regardless of the outcome, know that we are dealing with the most foreseeable crisis in america's history, and that is the debt crisis. >> let's talk a little closer about that. let's talk about the fiscal cliff, which is really the closest crisis as opposed to the bigger debt crisis. this one is coming very soon as a leader in congress who is going to be someone who is dealing with this, how do you see this result? regardless of who is the president of the united states, where is the solution in that if the houses stay the same? >> well, again, the house has acted. the united states house under speaker boehner has put together a plan that would ensure that we didn't have these devastating
defense cuts, which most people believe our national defense is the single most important responsibility of the federal government as we live in a dangerous world. the house has acted. senate democrats never acted. president obama never acted. >> let's say it stays the same. >> putting forth a plan, not one i necessarily agree with. >> but if it stays the same and the house and the senate, divided, regardless of who is the president, aren't you sort of in a similar position of having a stalemate, especially with a fiscal cliff that is looming? how do you fix that? what would you say is like here is the thing to get beyond that? >> the american people -- well, you know, i'm reminded once again of what yogi berra once said. predictions are dangerous things, particularly about the fewer. your asking me to predict not knowing what the outcome of today is going to be. i would hope and pray that the american people would have their voices heard. and that is we have a spending
problem in washington. we don't have a taxing problem. what we've had under president obama and the democrats is spending has gone from roughly 20% of our economy up to 25. and over the course of the next generation, it's going to 40%. it is unsustainable. taxes typically are about 18.5% of the gdp. they're a little less now because the economy has langu e languished under president obama. we all know that will come back. it is a spending challenge. until we have a president -- you can't solve the problem, soledad, unless the president is willing to lead. that's why we need a change in the white house. this president has advocated one of his most sacred responsibilities, preserving liberty for the next generation. instead all he is handing them is trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars of debt. he has got to lead. he has failed to lead. that's why i believe governor romney will be elected today our next president. >> and certainly will do well in the state of texas, which is what you pointed out earlier.
congressman jeb hensarling. didn't exactly answer my question about the fiscal cliff, but appreciate your time, sir. ey where it is using bing elections. it's a good day for politics. which way do you lean politically? conservative. republican. well, using the bing news selector you can find news from whichever way you lean. (together) social on this side, financial. which party is currently predicted to win a majority in the senate? the republicans? would you make a bet on that? no. are you chicken? a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying
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